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Global Governance: Relevant actors
and coalitions on the global level
Source: Karen Mingst, "The Quest for Global
Theoretical Frameworks – Mingst uses Three
major levels of analysis: 1) the international
system; 2) the state; 3) the individual
Two major issues of the twentieth century – War
and strife, & the international political economy
Fundamental dilemma of contemporary IR:
increasing demands for global action (security,
economics) vs. weakness of states and
contemporary international organizations
uh oh...
Why need Global Governance?
Need new approaches to old issues:
2nd generation peacekeeping activities
Need new approaches to new issues:
Environmental degradation
Sustainable development
Protection of human rights (overarching?)
Less-developed states lack resources to address
large issues domestically & contribute
internationally towards global solutions
Why need Global Governance?
The individual power of nation-states is eroding;
thus, their ability to address these issues is
considerably diminished
Traditional international orgs/multilateral
institutions unable to meet new demands...
international peace/security vs. civil conflict
Therefore, there is a power shift towards NGOS
What are the differences between these old and
new institutions?
Roots of International Law
Western concept
“the man”: Hugo Grotius
Rule of law (int'l
application of)
Hugo vs. Westphalia
showdown: int'l law and
order vs. state
sovereignty in territorial
Question of
International Law and its Functions
Accountability, order,
mechanism for settling
disputes, ethical functions,
limit state abritrariness
The critical difference?
State law has authoritative
structures, but
international law does not
This is why the realist
critisizes international law:
the state of anarchy
The Sources of International Law
1) Custom – codified habit
2) Treaties – dominant source
3) Formulated by authoritative bodies
b. note: role of UN Int'l Law Commission
4) Courts – International Court of Justice (weak
institution in many ways)
b. National/local courts also sources of int'l law
Universal Jurisdiction
Enforcement: Why would states obey int'l law?
Liberals say b/c it is moral to do so
Others may say b/c it is in states' best interests
How? Sanctions, boycotts, military force, reprisals
International Organizations
Contending Theories... why are Int. Organizations created?
Federalism: peace attainable at expense of state
sovereignty to higher body
States join together by surrendering a piece of
their sovereignty for the greater good of
eliminating war
Functionalism: (like federalists) are liberals in
idealist manner...however, functionalists believe
that individuals can change (co-operation
habits) vs. federalists believe in formal
War is caused by economic disparity
Economic co-operation will spill over into
political co-operation (example: the E.U.)
Collective Goods: “Tragedy of the Commons”
(Hardin) concept--> collective goods owned by
none (therefore, no responsibility) yet used by
all (thus, free rein of resources; logical to
gather the most resources for yourself)
What then? States need to create strategies to
overcome this problem: such as 1) coercion, 2)
positive incentives to refrain, punishments for
violation, 3) change size of group (where smaller
groups are more effective in exerting pressure)
All of these approaches have inherent weaknesses:
Federalism: what if states are unwilling to
sacrifice piece of sovereignty? Who exerts control
in the fed. body, and what are the tools of
Functionalism: economic disparity unlikely as
main catalyst of war; co-op may not always spill
Collective Goods: practical problems in fitting
The Role of Int'l Organizations
recall: definition of 'regimes' and LOAs
International LOA: contribute to habits of
cooperation (functionalism); dispute aid;
operational activities; bargain arena
State LOA: 'states join IGOS to use them as
instruments of foreign policy... but IGOs also
constrain states'; form of legitimization
Individal LOA: socialization to international
norms (ie. Diplomacy); education about
national perspectives & dynamics between
'Charters of IGOs incorporate the norms,
rules, and decisionmaking processes of regimes'
History & Development
19th century events led to IGOs,
especially the U.N.
Three Major Intellectual Strains (Inis Claude):
1) widespread utilization of multilateral diplomacy
2) Hague system (1899 and 1907) for developing
techniques to facilitate the prevention of war
3) Public International unions
(ex. League of Nations)
United Nations: founded on the principles of
sovereign equality of states; jurisdiction extends
to int'l conflicts only; int'l peace and security
Increased calls for reform of U.N. structure
Main Bodies of the United Nations
Security Council: veto powers - China, France,
Russia, UK, US; increase in power since Cold War
General Assembly: 6 committees – regional voting
blocs (ie. Group of 77); decrease since Cold War
Secretariat: few formal powers equate to soft power
and 'neutrality' (although this is compromised as
secretary-general becomes more powerful)
ECOSOC: problems w/ huge increase in economic
and social issues needing to be addressed; structure
Trusteeship Council: supervising decolonialization so successful, it has worked itself out of a job.
International Court of Justice: non-compulsory
Realist Views of Int'l Law/Orgs.
Skeptical: states participate b/c of self-interest
● Int'l organizations are very weak; realists see that
int'l law/orgs can prevent self-help solutions &
make states dependent on weak institutions
● Doubt feasibility of collective action
Radical Marxist Views of Int'l Law/Orgs.
International law is a result of Western capitalist states and thus is
structured to the self-interests of those states
International organizations designed for the powerful
Desire major change to 'overturn the contemporary international order
in favor of one that distributes economic resources and political
power more equitably'.
New Forms of Collective Action
NGOs: act as advocates, mobilize mass publics
Can add transparency to other political processes
Political independence; versatile actors
Trans-governmental coalitions: special role in
organizing substate actors in global governance
Transnational Communities of Experts: technical
specialists from I/NGOs share knowledge/values
International Regimes: high levels of
cooperation, suggesting states possess
principles of how problems should be addressed
Conclusion: Towards a new era in IR
Mingst: “Yet for global governance to come
together, for the international relations puzzle to
be whole and complete, there must be a global
civil society.”
What do you think?
Questions for consideration:
Can a global civil society exist while preserving state
U.N. Authority--> weak or strong? Would you
support the establishment of a U.N. army?
Given the structure of the Security Council and
concentration of power to the U.S. and other large
states, is the U.N. really a legitimate int'l governing
body? How would you structure its components?
How do you foresee the future of IR in terms of the
new system of soft power gaining influence over hard
power? (Hard power needed for peacekeeping &
coercion; soft power need for negotiations &
diplomacy…how will these be combined effectively?)